Friday, September 30, 2011
Does Being Different Mean Your Life Is Over?
I do remember reaching a moment of crisis when I was a sophomore in high school, where I had just hit the bottom and my life in a small town seemed utterly hopeless. I had not had any sexual experience with either sex at that age, but my fear of my desire for other boys seemed insurmountable and I had come to the conclusion that there was definitely something wrong with this attraction that was so deeply rooted in me. I was an odd ball kid, no doubt about it. I was very creative in all aspects. My grandmother had taught me to cook and sew, both of which I loved and was very proficient at doing well. My grandmother used to say “a man needs to know how to tend and look after himself”. My great grandfather’s wife had died giving birth to their third child and he raised my grandfather and his siblings on the ranch alone, never remarried and was able to tend to all the family needs on his own, so it was not uncommon for a man in our family to have these skills. But beyond that, there was this brooding uncertainty lurking that was becoming too strong to ignore. Then finally one night, in a moment of complete desperation I too, tried to kill myself. I tried to overdose on a bottle of pills, but luckily a good friend found me and was able to take me to the hospital to have my stomach pumped and I was able to recover. My family knew, but it was never really mentioned, and the whole event was mostly swept under the rug without anyone finding out what had even happened. My network of the few friends I had, who did know, came closer to keep an eye on and protect me. I still struggled with these issues for many years and really didn’t engage in sexual activity until I was in my early 20’s and then still had issues of self-esteem into my 40’s.
I guess my plea is: if you see or recognize kids that are different, having issues dealing with identity at this age, please reach out to them. Recognize them and offer your
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